Virtual Course – Pave the Way to Success on the Cardiovascular and Pulmonary Specialty (CCS) Exam

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Date(s) - 11/04/23 - 11/11/23
10:00 am - 4:30 pm

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PLEASE NOTE: THIS IS A 2-DAY COURSE BEING HELD VIA LIVE VIDEO CONFERENCE, NOVEMBER 4 and 11th  FROM 10 am – 4:30 pm Eastern Standard Time. Includes 12-hours of live vide conferencing and 4-hours of pre-recorded content.


The American Physical Therapy Association (APTA) established the specialist certification program in 1978. As of June 2021, there were 32,704 Board Certified Specialists. Of these, 417 are certified Cardiovascular and Pulmonary Specialists. Every year, individuals hoping to take the CCS seek assistance in examination preparation. Due to conflict of interest, the ABPTS and the APTA Academy of Cardiovascular and Pulmonary Physical Therapy are unable to provide comprehensive advice and instruction for the best way to prepare for this exam. Thus, there are very few resources available for these individuals and many people postpone the process of specialization. This course intends to demystify the process of preparing for this exam. We will cover the most prevalent topics on the exam in the depth of knowledge required for successfully passing the examination.


COURSE OBJECTIVES: By the end of this course participants will be able to independently

  1. analyze case studies of patients with cardiovascular and pulmonary dysfunction to understand all components of chart and determine complexity,
  2. apply knowledge of CV and Pulmonary diseases to cases using clinical reasoning to develop optimal plans of care for similar patients,
  3. discuss all diagnostic tests and their implications for patient assessment and interventions, and
  4. describe effects of various medications as well as potential side effects that could delay or prevent progression of mobility.


  • Day 1
    • CAD/MI/CABG Case
    • COPD Case
    • HF Case
    • CF Case
  • Day 2
    • ILD Case
    • Asthma Case
    • Diabetes/PAD Case
    • Afib/Cardioversion/Ablation
  • Pre-recorded Content
    • How to Study
    • Diagnosis/Prognosis/Outcomes
    • CVP Outcome Measures

Supplemental recorded content available for an additional $300 when purchased with this course*

  • CV Anatomy and Physiology
  • CV Pathophysiology
  • Pulm Anatomy and Physiology
  • Pulm Pathophysiology
  • CVP Diagnostic Testing
  • CVP Medications
  • Exercise Testing and Prescription
  • CV Interventions
  • Pulm Interventions
  • Pediatric CVP Conditions and Interventions

*Please contact to register for this package of supplemental recordings.

*Learning objectives for the supplemental recordings package

  1. describe the anatomy and physiology of the human oxygen transport system,
  2. explain the pathophysiology of 3 commonly seen cardiovascular diseases,
  3. explain the pathophysiology of 3 commonly seen pulmonary diseases,
  4. interpret 3 cardiovascular and pulmonary diagnostic tests,
  5. perform a chest exam and alter the performance of the fragile cardiovascular and pulmonary patient with breathing and airway clearance techniques,
  6. interpret the results of a maximum exercise test,
  7. analyze 3 cardiovascular and pulmonary medications including their mechanism of action, why they are prescribed and how they act on the cardiovascular or pulmonary system,
  8. design a treatment plan for a patient with cardiovascular disease,
  9. design a treatment plan for a patient with pulmonary disease, and
  10. design a treatment plan for a pediatric patient with cardiovascular or pulmonary disease.


Morgan Johanson, PT, MSPT, Board Certified Cardiovascular and Pulmonary Specialist received her Master of Science in Physical Therapy from the University of California, San Francisco.  She is currently the President of Good Heart Education, a continuing education company offering training for rehabilitation specialists working with patients with cardiovascular and pulmonary diseases across the continuum of care and mentoring services for PTs preparing for the ABPTS Cardiovascular and Pulmonary Specialty (CCS) Examination.  She has worked as a Level 3 ICU/Acute Care Physical Therapist at the California Pacific Medical Center (CPMC) and as the Coordinator for the Inpatient and Outpatient Cardiac and Pulmonary Rehabilitation Programs at the VA Ann Arbor Healthcare System (VAAAHS). She was a Co-Director, mentor and faculty member for the VAAAHS Cardiovascular and Pulmonary Physical Therapy (CVP PT) Residency Program. She is currently an adjunct faculty member at the University of Toledo, Ohio DPT Program, South College-Knoxville and VAAAHS CVP PT Residency Program.  She is the Professional Development Chair for the Academy of Cardiovascular and Pulmonary Physical Therapy. In 2004, she received the Service Star for excellence in patient care from CPMC and in 2022 she received the Merit Award from the Academy of CVP PT.  She is a contributing author to the 4th and 5th Edition of the Essentials of Cardiovascular and Pulmonary Physical Therapy by Ellen Hillegass. She is the lead investigator for the Entry-Level Physical Therapy Competencies in Cardiovascular and Pulmonary Physical Therapy. She is the current Professional Development Chair for the Academy of Cardiovascular and Pulmonary Physical Therapy.


Ellen Hillegass, PT, DPT, FAPTA, Board Certified Cardiovascular and Pulmonary Specialist received her entry-level training in physical therapy from the University of Pennsylvania, her Master of Medical Science in cardiopulmonary physiology from Emory University, and her doctorate in exercise physiology from the University of Georgia. She is a Professor at South College in Atlanta. She has developed a residency program in Cardiopulmonary PT at Mercer and practices at Piedmont Hospital in Atlanta, GA. She is President and CEO of Cardiopulmonary Specialists, a private consulting firm that provides consulting and education on cardiac and pulmonary rehabilitation. She has published an entry level text entitled Essentials of Cardiopulmonary Physical Therapy for PTs. She was the chair of the Clinical Practice Guidelines Committee on Venous Thromboembolism for the APTA (published in Physical Therapy journal in February of 2016) and is the current chair of the Updated Oxygen Recommendations Task Force for the APTA. She is a Catherine Worthingham Fellow of the American Physical Therapy Association. Ellen Hillegass was a member of the board of directors of the US COPD Coalition, as well as the chair of the COPD Coalition Strategic Planning Committee.

CEUs: 16 contact hours (1.6 CEUs)


Bookings are closed for this event.